image of two sapphic people in low red neon lighting

Old Word, New Meaning: How 'Sapphic' Got Its Modern Makeover

Ever stumbled upon the word “sapphic” on social media and wondered what the buzz is all about? Buckle up, because we're diving into the world of language evolution, breaking free from old norms, and accessorizing our vocab with some fabulous understanding!

The Past, Present, and Future of "Sapphic"

Way back around 1500, “sapphic” was this swanky word used to describe a poetic style inspired by Sappho, a famous Greek poet. Fast forward to the 1800s, and Parisian intellectuals are all abuzz about Sappho's love for women.

Back then, “sapphic” was sort of synonymous with “lesbian,” but people aren't just tossing around old words without a new twist. Nope, they’re reviving “sapphic” for a fresh purpose, and here’s where things get interesting! A 2021 piece on Autostraddle commented on its declining use as a term directly tied to lesbianism and its convoluted history.

A Comeback? Maybe!

Is “sapphic” making a comeback? It's a bit like asking if retro is in style – the answer's kinda? Some online searches reveal a spike, but the real trend is happening on the interwebs, where quantifying informal usage is like trying to nail jelly to the wall.

With tools like the Google Books Ngram Viewer, the term saw a spike around 2014, hinting at its re-emergence. However, it’s essential to understand that books often trail behind in capturing evolving linguistic trends. More recent surges in the term's popularity appear on platforms like, marking a significant increase from 2017 and peaking in 2020. Yet, to get an authentic pulse on the word's current usage, a survey, despite its inherent limitations, was conducted.

What's the New Deal with "Sapphic"?

The survey revealed that “Sapphic” is now rocking the scene as an umbrella term, embracing all women attracted to women, as well as nonbinary identities. Old definitions are making way for something shiny and new, much like finding a fresh angle on classic designs.

A Word as Inclusive as Your Favorite Accessories

Here's the shiny part: “sapphic” is now all about inclusivity, without resorting to labels that might make others feel left out. It's sort of like NYXA's genderless designs – something for everyone, unapologetically embracing all, and reflecting the authentic essence of self-discovery.

From memes to serious discussions, “sapphic” is finding its way into different contexts, with some even calling it “playful,” “romantic,” or “archaic.” It's still a term in flux, and that's what makes it as exciting.

Sapphic's Moment

In a nutshell, “sapphic” is enjoying a bit of a moment, especially among younger internet-savvy folks. It's acting as a linguistic bridge.

Why “sapphic”? Because sometimes, we need a word that's as multifaceted and embracing as our community. And who knows? Just like fashion, words have their cycles, and maybe “sapphic” is just having its runway moment, unapologetically.

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